Here are the most interesting storylines at the Bali Major that you should watch out for!

Bali Major kickstarts tomorrow, June 29th, and all teams have already settled at the exotic Ayana Estate resort. This is the third and final Major destination before The International 12 - a crucial point for teams to grab the coveted direct invites.

Now, we all know the Bali Major favorites. The back-to-back tournament winners, Gaimin Gladiators, are undoubtedly on top, followed by strong contenders like PSG.LGD and Tundra Esports. But what about others that might exceed your expectations? Among the eighteen teams that are competing, here are the dark horses with the most exciting storylines at the Bali Major!

Quest Esports, the new force to be reckoned with

ATF in Quest Esports at the Bali Major.<br>Image via Quest Esports
ATF in Quest Esports at the Bali Major.
Image via Quest Esports

Quest Esports' Dota 2 roster for Bali Major:

  • Aybek "TA2000" Tokayev
  • Tony "No!ob" Assaf
  • Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf 
  • Omar "OmaR" Moughrabi
  • Oleh "kaori" Medvedok

Quest Esports are the new kids on the block. They are former Ooredoo Thunders, which made waves in Tour 2 and qualified for its first Major in Tour 3 under a new label. The Dota 2 community also has their eyes on the star prodigy, ATF, who is on loan from Nigma Galaxy.

Despite being inexperienced, Quest sprinted ahead of Team Liquid to grab a top 3 placement in WEU Tour 3, an impressive feat in arguably the most competitive region. They have pulled upsets in previous Tour, but with ATF's presence, they seemed to grow more stable.


BetBoom Team - a hit or miss

Nightfall in BetBoom Team at the Bali Major.<br>Image via ESL
Nightfall in BetBoom Team at the Bali Major.
Image via ESL

BetBoom Team's Dota 2 roster for Bali Major:

  • Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko
  • Danil "gpk" Skutin
  • Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko
  • Vitalie "Save-" Melnic
  • Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek

BetBoom is a unique case for this upcoming Major. Ahead of this season, BetBoom witnessed the merge of EEU's biggest and brightest individual players, making a formidable all-star stack. But they didn't have a very good start to the year, flunking in both Lima Major and Berlin Major.

If it were not for BetBoom's recent mind-blowing performance at the ESL Pro Tour, expectations would have been low. Initially an uninvited team, BetBoom came to DreamLeague Season 20 last minute and soared past expectations to clinch a runner-up finish. With gears now rolling smoothly, BetBoom might be able to ride this momentum and deliver another dominant run at the Bali Major.

But it is truly a hit or a miss - will BetBoom finish last like the previous Majors, or will they zoom on top like the recent tournament?


Beastcoast charges ahead with uncertainties

Parker replaces K1 in beastcoast at the Bali Major.<br>Image via 4D Esports
Parker replaces K1 in beastcoast at the Bali Major.
Image via 4D Esports

Beastcoast's Dota 2 roster for Bali Major:

  • David "Parker" Nicho Flores
  • Gonzalo "DarkMago" Herrera
  • Rafael "Sacred" Yonatan
  • Elvis "Scofield" Peña 
  • Steven "StingeR" Vargas

South America's powerhouse, beastcoast, officially shifted its roster just days before Bali Major begins. This was a massive decision but it seems to have been cooking for a while.

K1, also known as Hector, has been inactive since he took a mental health break a month ago. Filling in his shoes for the end of Tour 3 DPC as well as DreamLeague Season 20 is Parker. And with K1's official departure, Parker will continue his time with the team.

Despite the changes, beastcoast still looks pretty solid throughout K1's absence. Nonetheless, there are uncertainties to how this team will perform on the big stage without their long-term carry player. After four years, we'll see beastcoast dive into action with a new position one at the helm.


Blacklist International and the Filipino redemption

Kuku returns with Blacklist International at the Bali Major.<br>Image via EPICENTER
Kuku returns with Blacklist International at the Bali Major.

Blacklist International's Dota 2 roster for Bali Major:

  • Marc "Raven" Fausto
  • Karl "Karl" Baldovino
  • Damien "kpii" Chok
  • Timothy "TIMS" Randrup
  • Carlo "Kuku" Palad

You might not recognize the organization, but the players have been here for a long time. Blacklist International gathered Filipino's strongest assets ahead of the season with redemption in mind. The org grabbed notable veterans in the likes of Kuku and Raven, though in the recent Tour, they were joined by Australian Kpii in the offlane.

BI had a rough early start, hovering in Division I for consecutive Tours. But Bali Major calls for their presence after they made it into the top 3 of SEA DPC. On paper, they should have a good performance with their collective experience at a Major event. But Kuku and the boys haven't played a Dota 2 Major for so long. Can they deliver?


Azure Ray, no pressure

Somnus teams up with old teammates and qualified for the Bali Major.<br>Image via PSG.LGD
Somnus teams up with old teammates and qualified for the Bali Major.
Image via PSG.LGD

Azure Ray's Dota 2 roster for Bali Major:

  • Lou "Lou" Zhen
  • Lu "Somnus" Yao
  • Yang "Chalice" Shenyi
  • Xu "fy" Linsen
  • Jiang "天命" An

Fans of Chinese Dota 2 combusted in happiness when not only the legendary trio reunited, but also when Azure Ray qualified for the Bali Major. This is a team of returning veterans and one can't help but root for the iconic names.

Despite being a star lineup, Somnus openly talked about his low expectations of his team. But instead of surviving in Division I, like he had expected, Azure Ray made it into the top 4 of CN DPC, booking a slot at their first Dota 2 Major after almost a year. Well, and after four years for captain fy.

Though the team has a renowned caliber, it is clear that the team wants to keep expectations low. Somnus revealed his doubts that Azure Ray can make it into the Playoffs but is confident that they can take a win off of nouns. And spicing it up, Somnus also feels confident that they can win the tournament if they make it into the Upper Bracket.

Azure Ray is an interesting team to watch. Of course, it is mainly due to the lore, but fans are also excited to see if Somnus got his predictions right.


Bleed Esports, a hard read

iceiceice returns to a Dota 2 Major with Bleed Esports.<br>Image via Valve
iceiceice returns to a Dota 2 Major with Bleed Esports.
Image via Valve

Bleed Esports' Dota 2 roster for Bali Major:

  • Souliya "JaCkky" Khoomphetsavong
  • Teng "Kordan" Tjin Yao
  • Daryl "iceiceice" Koh
  • Djardel "DJ" Mampusti 
  • Kim "DuBu" Doo-young

Much like Blacklist International, Bleed Esports has been hovering in SEA DPC with a notable stack. But they had a tougher start with consecutive relegation scares in Tour 1 and Tour 2. With the lackluster performances in the early season, no one expected Bleed to completely take a turn in Tour 3 DPC.

Bleed knocked it out of the park with only one loss against Blacklist International. They convincingly secure the top seed of the chaotic region, showcasing immense improvement. But Bleed as a team has never been to a Major before and we'll have to see how veterans like iceiceice and DJ utilize their experience at the Bali Major.


Bali Major begins

The grand event begins tomorrow - so buckle up and stick around for more Dota 2 Bali Major coverage! Keep track with Bali Major's schedule and results here!

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